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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 8: Iconic designer and craftsman Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo and Indonesian award-winning fashion designer Jeny Tjahyawati are among the seven strategic partners collaborating with Centexs Commercial through the Juma’ani Pavilion to drive and enhance the creative industry, especially the fashion sector, in Sarawak.
Apart from the two famous designers, Centexs Commercial represented by general manager Mohamad Shahren Mohamad Yusri also inked Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Danapuri Sdn Bhd represented by managing director Bahjat Aman, Halal Street UK by chief executive director Suresh Kumar Simon Subramaniam, Sarawak Entrepreneur Association (SEA) by president Nizam Khalid, Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) by president Audry Wan Ulok and Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) by director Dato Dr Mohmed Razip Hasan.
Choo was not present but represented by his officer Dodi Mohasdi Mohammad.
Welcoming the partnerships, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this demonstrated that Juma’ani Pavilion succeeded in attracting big names from various industries to contribute their passion, expertise and experience.
“I am confident that after this, fashion designers and local creative entrepreneurs in Sarawak will have a high capability to become international players and gained benefits through these joint ventures,” he said in his text-of-speech read by Deputy Premier Douglas Uggah Embas at the official launching of the Juma’ani Pavilion in Petra Jaya last night (Dec 7).
The inauguration of the Juma’ani Pavilion, the first fashion hub in Borneo, was marked by the signing of a plaque by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Jeny, who is the founder of Indonesia Modest Fashion and specialises in Muslim fashion, hopes to further explore the intangible cultural heritage of both Sarawak and Indonesia, especially the batik, songket and keringkam motifs.
“We could work on these Borneo cultural heritage elements in our designs which have huge potential and must be produced, commercialised and exported beyond Sarawak and Indonesia.
“I am delighted and proud to be here and I look forward to a fruitful collaboration moving forward,” she said when met last night.
Meanwhile, Suresh of Halal Street UK emphasised that one of the crucial things to do is to understand the problems that entrepreneurs have and are facing in exporting their products to the UK and Europe.
“Whether it is regulatory or obstacles in dealing with the government, we will try to find a way to sort it out and export the products for them. And when the products get into the UK market, how do we expose them because Europeans love Borneo’s products due to the region’s environmental awareness.
“I will bring the stories of Borneo, Sarawakian vendors and their products to the UK and Europe. To do something more for Borneo and because the whole of UK is eager to learn about the Borneo stories, it is the responsibility of Centexs Commercial and Halal Street UK to introduce the Borneo stories in a way that the westerners can understand,” he said.
On the other hand, Audry of STF pointed out that this partnership is really for the benefit of Sarawak’s very own cottage industry by raising the profile of local artisans and handicraftsmen not only through the creative economy but also tourism.
“We want to help them improve their skills according to the latest practices as well as making their products readily accessible not only domestically but to the world.
“We are also focused on preserving our cultural heritage through handicrafts and making them known to the world. We really want to push our products and local artisans globally and I believe this partnership will help them reach greater heights,” she said.
Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and wife Datin Sri Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, State Deputy Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit, and Uggah’s wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang were among the distinguished guests present. — DayakDaily